Chinese New Year – Part II.


Beijing really gone crazy – unbelievable


Beijing welcomes the Year of the Rat! Enjoy this video taken in Beijng.

So the football season is coming to a close and everyone knows what that means…..SUPERBOWL!!! Yes, I’m from the US, but I can’t help it, football is great. It’s actually the only sport I watch. Actually Super Bowl is great. I love the spirit of Super Bowl. I love the comrodity, the gathering of friends or family, the competing with friends or family, the shouting, the screaming, the physicalness, the brand new hilarious commercials, and of course, the loads of food and beer devoured throughout the entire game.

If you haven’t been part of a Super Bowl party, you’re definitely missing out. Even if you don’t understand the game, it’s great. Men and women shouting at the TV screen with buffalo wing sauce covering their painted faces or bright colored football jerseys, beer spilling every time there’s a good or bad play. It really is a sight to see….

So anyways, it’s Super Bowl XLII, Super Bowl 42. And while writing this blog, the New York (my home state) Giants has just sealed the deal for the Super Bowl. February 3rd New England Patriots vs New York Giants. I’m just hoping there will be a bar here in Beijing that plays it.

I’m really looking forward to this game and even the commercials, another favorite part of Super Bowl. So lets drink some beers, eat some wings, and shout like mad men this February 3rd. LET’S GO GIANTSSSSS!!!!

Free Burma!

Okay, I am not sure, if this is really worth a news – but because it is quite annoying, I will mention it in my blog: Wikipedia seems to be censored again. At least not available from Beijing.

The Olympic development in Beijing may be about to face its toughest challenge yet. Sun Ruoyu, a 55 year old bakery owner in Qianmen District is refusing to move out of her home to make way for a ‘beautification’ project.


Her home and business is now the only building left on what used to be a busy row of shops. All the others have been demolished and replaced with new grass lawns and saplings. The bakery opened by Sun’s family in the 1840’s and has been on Beijing’s demolition list since Monday 6th August.

A bulldozer arrived at Sun’s house on Wednesday 8th August; however, Sun resisted the demolition by climbing onto the vehicle and shouting at the driver. The family has been offered about 1.6 million RMB (approx US$ 200,000). Sun claims that this is not enough and has refused the offer. With such a low offer Sun claims that she won’t be able to afford to buy an apartment in Qianmen District after it is redeveloped to what is sure to become one of Beijing’s priciest neighbourhoods.

Some good news for Wikipedia Fans in China. The popular online encyclopaedia seems to be available at least in Beijing, I don’t know about other parts in China.
Wikipedia has been censored in China since October 2005 (with a short interruption in October 2006).
At the moment, nearly all articles can be accessed from China, only a few China-related articles (the main article about China, of course some articles related to human rights) are still blocked. If you search for Falun Gong, event eh search function does not work.
The popular blog platform is still blocked from China.
I have read nothing about it in newspapers yet – maybe it is no longer worth mentioning it, because the Chinese censorship department somehow can not make up its mind – to keep it blocked or not.
Probably, this is also a sign, that the Chinese government has improved its technology to block websites again, especially the filter to block content (not IP-addresses or IP-ranges) seems to work better now.

Censorship in China

A lot of people still think, that China is just blocking the internet somehow and trying to prevent people from using the internet. Actually, just the opposite is the case:
The internet is a perfect tool for the Chinese government to control the news and spread its propaganda – not only offline, but now also online. And it is a perfect tool to inform people, especially in rural areas about their rights (e.g. to control corruption).

The most popular news websites are controlled and censored by the government. Most Chinese are not interested in non-Chinese websites anyway (chatting, online games, blogging seems to be the only thing, Chinese do in internet cafes), so the Chinese just seem to be content to block foreign websites about human rights, Tibet, Falun Gong and somewhat for fun a few big US-newspapers. For blogs, it still seems to be different.

If Chinese want to have a blog in China, they have two choices: They need to register with a Chinese blog hosting services, which means, their blog will be controlled by the company or they can host a blog on their own website – which means, they need a license for their website.
Therefore, something the Chinese government seem to be quite concerned about, are of course foreign blog- platforms like, because they want to prevent Chinese bloggers from using those platforms instead of Chinese ones

I am curious, how long Wikipedia will stay unblocked in China this time.

Okay, it is not really worth even mentioning it anymore – the blog service is blocked again, at least from Beijing, you can not reach it anymore. Really a pity, I can only watch the blogs of employees via very slow proxy-services. One possibility is

What news in Beijing? Quite funny (but also a little bit sad to watch) was a raid on illegal street sellers at Wudaokou subway station in Beijing. During the last weeks, more and more street sellers occupied the wudaokou area in Beijing, first at the south-west corner. I guess some of the shop owners were not really happy about it, so they moved to the north-corner (the police watching just opposite the street), later they occupied the area directly at the subway station, it was hard using the sidewalk. I guess this was a little bit too much, yesterday the crossroad was cleared by the police and you could watch them taking the goods from crying saleswomen and arguing salesmen.

It seems, that at least in Beijing, it is not so easy anymore to extend your F-Visa. Until now, it was never a problem to extend it for another 6 month, now a few people I know had problems even getting a 3 month extension.

Probably, teh guidelines changed, because the Chinese government wants more control because of the Olympic Games next year or maybe more control over foreigner coming to China with an F-Visa and working here without a proper working permission.

Recently, China started recruiting the first volunteers for the pre-olympic period.

And I guess, it is about time, that I start a category about the Olympics in my Blog. Only approx. 500 days left till the Olympic Games.

More Information at (the English Version at

did not work, when I tested it – maybe you are more lucky).

Next Page »